HDFC Bank’s managing director and CEO, Sashidhar Jadgishan explained the bank’s recent technology glitches in a letter to its 1.16 lakh employees. News reports quoting Jagdishan said that each instance has ‘hardened’ the bank’s resolve to do better.
Jagdishan said in the letter that the bank ‘humbly accepts’ it has faced technical issues across its online platforms in the last 28 months and is working towards improving it.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had asked the bank to stop all launches under its programme Digital 2.0 and sourcing new credit cards to customers in December 2020. HDFC Bank then said the RBI order "has advised the bank to temporarily stop all launches of the digital business-generating activities planned under its program Digital 2.0 and other proposed business generating IT applications and sourcing of new credit card customers".
The bank had five instances when its technology platforms failed. These were due to unprecedented demand to download the new mobile app (November 2018), faulty vendors system upgrade patch issue (December 2019), outage at data centre (November 2020), faulty signature at host instrusion prevention software (March 1, 2021) and the most recent one on 31 March, 2021 was on account of a hardware component failure in one of the bank's database, a report in The Times of India said.
Jagadishan said the bank is working with regulator to overcome “the current situation." According to Moneycontrol, the CEO said in a letter, “While we execute this Technology Transformation agenda, there will sometimes be pain and outages beyond our control. We must doubly resolve to reach out proactively to our customers / stakeholders and explain the path that we are traversing to make their experience with us smoother, faster and better.”
The bank has embarked on technology transformation. "We have invested heavily in the scale-up of our infrastructure to handle any potential load that we will encounter for the next three to five years. We have strengthened our process of monitoring our Data Centre and have shifted key applications to new Data Centre," the letter said, according to a news report.
The bank has put in place an enhanced application monitoring mechanism across the board to enable them to keep their IT systems “Always On”, Business Standard report said.